ANF-1 "Angler Fish" Amphibious Special Duty Tank
The ANF-1 Amphibious Special Duty Tank, also known as the Angler Fish, is an unusual dieseltech tank of High Rostran design. Though the Rostran Archipelago Confederacy fields few tanks on account of being surrounded completely by water, the reconnaisance, littoral fighting, and surprise attack capabilities of the Angler Fish make it uniquely suited to RACMF operations. The Angler Fish is unique in that it features both amphibious capabilities and the ability to field a complement of drones for sensory and manipulation purposes.
Like most dieseltech tanks, the Angler Fish is propelled by a large diesel engine. Unlike most dieseltech tanks, the Angler Fish can loiter beneath the surface of a body of water. The fact that the Angler fish can submerge requires that the tank mount a long snorkel assembly to permit enough air for the engine to operate, though the main engine is generally stopped when the vehicle is lying in wait beneath the surface of the water. A smaller, quieter generator supplies electrical power during these quiescent periods, which has the added benefit of making the vehicle more difficult to discern to sonar.
The lower hull of the Angler Fish is designed to act like a hydrofoil when the tank is moving forward, and its tracks are molded to provide 'scoops' to push water and sand to the rear. This, along with air bladders sandwiched between the thick hull plates, allows to tank to surface and skim across the water when operating at speed. The gearing required to accomplish this speed makes the Angler Fish a relatively poor climber compared to other dieseltech tanks, and care must be taken on the part of the driver to avoid getting stranded in depressions on the sea floor.
Weapons & Armament
The primary weapon of the Angler Fish is a RTC "Thunder Caster" Area Denial Weapon with a coaxial auto cannon. While this weaponry is seldom very effective against other armored vehicles, it can be devastating against unsuspecting infantry, auto-armor, autogyros or littoral ships. Some Angler Fish are also equipped with special 'beanpoles' to apply limpet mines the hulls of nearby ships.
Armor and defense
Compared to other armored vehicles extant in the Manifold Sky setting, Angler Fish have intermediate levels of armor. While the Angler Fish's armor is very thick in terms of the distance between the inner and outer layers of the armor, the space between these layers is largely occuped by buoyancy channels to assist in surfacing.
Like a submarine, an Angler Fish features an extensible periscope to allow it to see above water while loitering beneath it. The drones carried by an Angler Fish (see below) can also be flown over the surface when the vehicle is submerged, though they must remain tethered due to water's tendency to supress radio signals.
Additional & auxiliary systems
The Angler Fish contains enough bottled oxygen for the crew to remain completely submerged for up to one hour. If this time has elapsed before the crew has reached a shallow enough spot to deploy the snorkel, the tank must be abandoned for later recovery by RACMF naval tenders.
Hangars & docked vessels
A large, watertight trunk on the back of the Angler Fish contains four drones which can be controlled by the tank's drone operator through tether wires or - for a limited time - remotely. These drones are essentially Model S "Sweetheart" Utility Drones reverse-engineered from Data Engines Limited specimens. The drones are waterproofed and are painted in ocean camouflage colors to make them more difficult to detect in flight. Each drone is equipped with a microphone, an audio-only radio transciever, a spotlight, and a small gun. Using the tank's periscope in conjunction with the gyroscopes aboard the Sweetheards, the drone operator can concentrate light and gunfire on advancing infantry though (as usual for Sweethearts) this is not the primary purpose of the drones. Usually, information from the microphones aboard the Sweethearts are used by the drone operator to home in on concealed troops and vehicles in the Angler Fish's immediate vicinity, while the lights provide better visibility for the driver and gunner; the famously accute senses of Rostrans are required to make best use of this equipment. Altogether, the drone package carried by the Angler Fish makes the tank an excellent reconnaisance vehicle despite its bulk.